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Oklahoma State 68, TCU 61: Frogs’ tournament hopes slipping away

TCU simply couldn’t afford to lose this game.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Christian at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

TCU is starting to slide down the stretch. The Frogs traveled to Stillwater Monday needing a win, but they watched Thomas Dziagwa hit six threes and score 23 points to lead the Pokes to a 68-61 victory.

Desmond Bane and Alex Robinson both scored 19 points for the Frogs, who fall to 17-9, 5-8 on the season. TCU is sitting at 7th right now in the Big 12, and they’re firmly on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament.

JD Miller added 11 points for the Frogs, too. TCU actually shot better from the floor for the game (43.4% to just 37.9% for Oklahoma State), but the three-point shooting made all the difference.

Oklahoma State showed why they lead the Big 12 in three-point shooting percentage, pouring in 11 threes on 25 attempts, including six of their first eight. TCU made just five on the night, shooting 27.8% from beyond the arc.

The Frogs really couldn’t afford to lose this game. With five games left, TCU still has to play Iowa State, Texas Tech, and Kansas State at home, while traveling on the road to play West Virginia and Texas. 20 wins is typically the threshold for NCAA Tournament consideration, which means TCU needs at least three more wins heading into the Big 12 tournament.

Right now that simply doesn’t look likely, especially if Kouat Noi is forced to miss more time with his ankle injury. He was in a boot on TCU’s bench for the second straight game Monday night.

Meanwhile, Alex Robinson seemed to tweak something in his left leg in the second half, and after the final buzzer sounded Robinson went down to the floor. He spent several minutes getting his left leg worked on before heading off the court.

If TCU loses Robinson, that could signal the end of TCU’s tournament hopes. Right now it feels like the Frogs are on the outside looking in.

It feels like a disappointing end to a season full of hope for the Frogs, but considering the attrition this team has faced in this season, it’s good to at least see them fighting until the end.

Next up is Iowa State, Saturday at 1pm at Schollmaier Arena.